COVID-19: B.C.’s education minister assures parent they will be notified if their child has been exposed
B.C.’s education minister says parents who are worried about schools not sending out exposure notifications this year should know they will be notified if their child has come into contact with someone with COVID-19.
Jennifer Whiteside made the comments at a news conference in Langley Thursday to highlight a dozen new or updated schools.
Whiteside said she wanted to assure families that health authorities will continue to be vigilant about who has been exposed to the novel coronavirus.
“The health authorities have the contact-tracing ability in place to ensure that process will continue. So we can be very confident that should there be an exposure in school, the family will be notified,” she said.
Masks will be mandatory for grades 4 to 12 but not for younger children, a policy that has upset the teachers’ union and some parents. Whiteside said schools have worked hard to encourage all students to wear masks, but it will remain discretionary for kindergarten to Grade 3.
“Since the beginning of the pandemic our government made a decision to trust the expertise of our public health officials,” she said. “That is what has informed our health and safety plans.”
B.C. Teachers’ Federation president Terri Mooring has said teachers want more safety measures , like a mask mandate for all teachers, staff and students from kindergarten to Grade 12.
Mooring said with the highly contagious Delta variant, there is a need for a mask requirement at the start of the year. She said it’s harder to get people to comply mid-year than to begin with the safety measures in place.